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The Wedding

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					The Wedding

Iain Crichton Smith
Features to Revise:
•   Characterisation
•   Setting
•   Language
•   Key incident(s)
•   Climax / turning point
•   Plot
•   Structure
•   Narrative Technique
•   Theme
•   Ideas
•   Description
              Characterisation
• The narrator – feels uncomfortable (ill-fitting
  suit).
• The groom – confident / stylish.
• The bride – ‘somnambulant’, ‘fixed smile’ ‘didn’t
  speak’.
• The Father – uncomfortable.
• The Mother – shy / nervous.
• Highland girls at the wedding (outfits / ‘looked at
  ease’ and ‘fresh and gay’).
                   Setting
• Reference to ‘Cortina’
• City setting with references made to islands as
  ‘home’.
• Staid atmosphere in the church v. sunshine
  outside.
• References to traditions of ‘home’ (the
  islands).
                   Language
• ‘...an exercise in pre-marital warfare, a primitive
  pre-marital battle.’ WORD CHOICE
• Description of the bride as being
  ‘somnambulant’. IMAGERY
• Father ‘twisting his neck...chafed by his collar’.
  IMAGERY / DESCRIPTION
• ‘Large reddish hands stuck out of his white cuffs’
  CONTRAST
• Gaelic telegrams made wedding ‘more authentic
  and false’ PARADOX
• ‘Sharp-witted, city-bred waitresses’
  ALLITERATION
               Language cont.
• ‘Imprisoning collar’ METAPHOR
• Use of CONTRAST (then and now / here and there) in
  Father’s speech.
• ‘a murmur of conversation which rose in volume as if
  to drown the memory of the speech’ SIMILE
• Comparing the bride’s dress to a shroud SIMILE
• ‘He’s never ploughed any ground, I think’ METAPHOR
• Reference to how the father ‘blossomed’ METAPHOR
• Father was more at home than the audience at end of
  poem PARADOX
             Key incident(s)
• The wedding ceremony (division in the church
  / the lack of enthusiasm for the service).
• The Father of the Bride’s speech and the
  atmosphere which follows.
• The boy singing the Gaelic song, but not
  knowing all of the words.
• The father sings and the young audience
  applaud him and urge him to continue.
       Climax / turning point


When the father sings his song and the
audience are enthralled, with the result that
‘he seemed to be wholly at home and more so
than his audience were’.
                      Plot
• Narrator is guest at a wedding in the city.
• The bride is from an island, her groom from a
  city.
• The bride’s parents feel uncomfortable and
  none of the young people appreciate hearing
  about the past / the islands.
• At the end, the father sings a Gaelic song and
  captures everyone’s attention.
• The father feels at ease at the end of the story.
                      Structure
• Story is told chronologically in first person.
  – INTRODUCTION
     • Sets the scene / wedding
  – RISING ACTION / CONFLICT
     • The division between the bride’s family and the
       groom’s / island and city
  – CLIMAX
     • The bride’s father makes his speech
  – FALLING ACTION
     • Awkward atmosphere follows
  – RESOLUTION
     • Bride’s father singing in Gaelic unites everyone.
       Islanders feel at home / city folk appreciate islanders.
          Narrative Technique
• First person narrator.
• Events seen through his eyes – he is an
  outsider (links to theme / setting).
• Narrator is not emotionally engaged – reliable
  / matter-of-fact.
                  Theme


The loss of island / Gaelic culture / identity
and why it needs to be preserved.
                          Ideas
• Stuffiness of church (minister ‘savouring the sun’).
• Relaxed atmosphere in city compared to islands
  (minister not wearing a gown).
• Fashionable stylish city dwellers v. old-fashioned
  islanders.
• Wedding has to be endured (‘inaudible’, ‘murmured
  something’, ‘interminably’ the little boy with the
  horseshoe about to cry). Narrator’s lack of emotional
  involvement.
• Would be different if it was a Highland wedding,
  according to narrator.
• Bride’s silence – loss of a language / cultural identity.
  No Gaelic heard outside the church. Father having to
  shout over the music.
                      Ideas cont.
• Expensive hotel – materialistic / flashy city life.
• Dialogue at the bar – multi-cultural city.
• Reference to girl having a baby and thinking about
  returning to the islands. Good place to grow up / bring up
  family. Other young people disparaging about islands.
• Reference to American adopting island culture.
• Awkward, unappreciative response from the young to the
  father’s references to old cultures.
• To the father, the city folk seem like primitive barbarians
  ‘like Africans’ (this would seem racist if he wasn’t so naive).
• When reminded of it, young people appreciate their
  culture.
• City folk appreciate learning about the island’s culture too.
                Description

• Of characters (their appearance / speech /
  actions and reactions / thoughts and feelings)
• Of setting (time and place / atmosphere)
• Of theme (imagery / symbolism used to
  describe the theme / problem of declining
  language / loss of identity)

				
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posted:9/8/2012
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